In our guide to moving to Los Angeles, we discussed Best Things to Know before Moving to Los Angeles, but didn’t dwell much on the cost of living in the city.
We understand that people relocate to the Los Angeles area for different reasons: some with the hope of finding employment in the movie industry; others are here for a robust economy, nearby beaches, fun attractions, and friendly weather.
Found between closest mountains, many areas of Los Angeles County see different weather than other parts of the United States. Los Angeles is also popular for its famous roads, which include Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland. If you are relocating to this place, you need to know the cost of living in Los Angeles.
The cost of living in L.A. is above the cost of living in some other parts of the United States.
The cost of living within Los Angeles can vary from one area to another.
On the cost of living index by Numbeo, which include the cost of consumer goods, restaurants, transportation, utilities, and groceries, Los Angeles’ score is 79.49 out of 100 in July 2020, which implies that living here costs around 20% less than in NYC, the benchmark of the index.
In this guide, we want to look at the Los Angeles’ cost of living to give insight of what to expect in the city.
Los Angeles Housing Costs
The costs of housing in Los Angeles are more than the other region of the country. However, salaries in the city also tend to be on the high side, and there are many mortgage options to make buying a home in Los Angeles more accessible.
Average Home Prices
The average home price in the L.A. area is about $750,000, but it can increase in costly Los Angeles Neighborhoods, such as Beverly Hills, where the average housing cost exceeds $10 million.
The average list price for each square foot of space in the city is around $550, which is above the average cost in the metropolitan area of around $450. However, numerous homes in Los Angeles are way cheaper, so, getting the perfect neighborhood is important.
Home Purchase Prices in Los Angeles City
- To buy in City Centre, the Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) is $5,187.07
- To buy in outside the city, the Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) is $2,152.78
Rent is higher in Los Angeles above the national average. However, the cost of a rental home or apartment differs by area, with certain parts of Los Angeles expensive than others.
For instance, renting a studio apartment will cost approximately $1,295 in Los Angeles, while renting an apartment in the beautiful Anaheim Los Angeles neighborhood is around $1,355. Renting a studio apartment across the country costs about $821.
The median cost to rent a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,545 in Los Angeles, while you will spend about $1,999 to rent a 2-bedroom, and $2,681 to rent a 3-bedroom, all at average prices.
Prices of Monthly Rental in Los Angeles
- Rental cost for One bedroom apartment in City Centre is above $1450
- Rental cost for One bedroom apartment outside the City Centre is above $1000
- Rental cost a for Three-bedroom apartment in City Centre is above $2500
- The rental cost for a Three-bedroom apartment outside the City Centre is above $2000
Tips to Save Money on Housing Costs in LA
- Share a house or apartment: Sharing is one way to save on living costs. You may have to share a bathroom but you will be saving money at the end of the day. One cheaper option is to share a room. Check out the sites here to locate your ideal roommate: Metro Roommates, Kangaroom, RoomLaLa, Easyroommate, Trulia, and SpareRoom.
- Different neighborhoods with different prices: Similar to all cities, upmarket neighborhoods attract expensive prices. Try to reside in proximity to your workplace, as the traffic is bad in rush hour. The most affordable neighborhoods in Los Angeles are found in The Valley. You have to be capable of handling the heat in these neighborhoods because the median temperature is between 5 to 10 degrees hotter than the city.
Hollywood is located in the central and is home to some of the great locations to live in. Hollywood East, as well as Los Feliz, are located in the east and have certain green spaces. The hipsters should consider Silverlake as it has some beautiful houses but it is costly.
Downtown is common for its great apartments but its position is why it is costly. Hancock Park is also home to some of the greatest apartments for rich folks.
When Los Angeles is your home, you will not only get to experience the nice Mediterranean climate of the city, but you will also save money on heating and cooling costs when compared with other locations in the country.
A lot of older buildings in Los Angeles lack central heat or AC, and most homes in the western part of town don’t need Air Conditioning all because of the cool breezes from the beach.
That is why Los Angeles residents can prepare to pay around $30 for their monthly utilities than the country’s average. In Los Angeles, the average utilities spent per month is $129 and this includes water, garbage pickup, electricity, and gas. Homeowners who can choose to install solar panels can even get a refund for generating additional energy.
Costs of Food, Grocery, and Restaurant in Los Angeles
Similar to many other locations in the nation, the cost of food varies in L.A. residents and newcomers can make a comparison of the costs of food in Los Angeles to the national average to understand how they will be charged for their grocery bill:
- 1kg Beef: $5.84 to $19.84
- 1kg Apples: $2.20 to $6.61
- 1kg White Rice: $3.00 to $6.80
- Inexpensive Restaurant: $10 to $20
- Takeout Coffee: $3.25 to $5.00
- Bottle of Coke: $1.25 – $3
- 1L (1/4 Gallon) of milk: $0.71 to $1.19
- Loaf of Bread: $2.20 to $3.86
- 12 Eggs: $2.00 to $4.00
- 1kg Chicken: $6.59 to $15.43
Below is the comparison of food prices with other major cities across the globe.
Restaurants (Compared to NYC)
Groceries (Compared to NYC)
6.82 % cheaper
Extra Tips for affordable Food, Restaurants, and Groceries in LA
Know your supermarkets:
There is a significant number of standalone grocery stores in Los Angeles with ethnic stores and the normal chains of the There are also many farmer’s markets and shops where you can get healthy foods as well as organic foods.
Some of the famous supermarkets include Trader Joe’s, Smart, and Final. Ralph’s, Whole Foods Market, Vons, and Pavillions which is a nice place to buy in bulk.
Find Cheap Eats:
With just a small effort, you can find some places that offer great food at cheaper prices. Check Timeout, LA Weekly, LA Eater, Trip Advisor, and Business Insider.
Transportation Fares in Los Angeles
Unlike many other major cities in the universe, Los Angeles residents tend to drive their car to work which leads to great traffic congestion in rush hour. There is a great number of good bus and rail system, which operates most parts of Los Angeles and is run by Metro.
Below are some example costs of the ticket.
- Adult Single Metro costs $1.75
- One day ticket costs $7.00
- Monthly season ticket, unlimited costs $100
Saving money on public transport
- Purchase a 30-day student pass for $24
- Purchase a weekly Pass and receive unlimited travel for $31
- Purchase a bike. Based on Your home location and work, cycling around the city may be a great option.
If you live near where you work, you can also walk to work.
Cost of Owning a Vehicle and Driving it in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, driving in the rush hour takes patience. If you plan to move to Los Angeles from inside the United States, you will be able to use your license but need to change your address to your new one.
You can continue your foreign driving license for up to a year as a tourist but once that period is over, you will need to obtain an American License. If you are working or studying in the country, you can keep your foreign license for just 30 days.
If you decide to change your out-of-country license, you have to take to the process. Below are some other samples of expenses of owning and driving a car in L.A.
- Volkswagen Golf:$22,980
- 1 liter (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol): $0.76
Other fees (if any): The median cost of state and local taxes, title and registration, and license, fees is $665 per annum
How to Save Money Driving in L.A
- You can save money on car sharing or pooling. Check Rideshare, Zip Car, Car Pool World, and Uberpool.
- Taxis in some cases can be the least expensive option, especially if you will park all day. Consider Lyft or Uber.
Need to move your car or vehicle to Los Angeles? Then check our guide on Car Shipping and Vehicle Transport.
Costs of Moving and Shipping to Los Angeles
Here are some examples of costs of container shipping to Los Angeles from big cities all around the globe. Just remember that they only include the shipping part of the cost and not the entire moving costs.
- Canada(Toronto): $1,268 or more
- Hong Kong: $1,068 or more
- Dubai: $2,903 or more
- Singapore: $1,966 or more
- UK(London): $1,461 or more
- Australia(Sydney): $1,030 or more
- Ireland(Dublin): $1,615 or more
- New Zealand(Auckland): $1,596 or more
You can save money by making a comparison of moving companies with our moving quote from the best recommended Los Angeles Movers
Other Tips for Los Angeles Relocation
The costs and pricing given above should provide you a reasonable insight into the cost of living in Los Angeles but maybe the additional tips here will smoothen up the move.
Moving Alone to Los Angeles
Moving experience can sometimes be lonely, but moving to another city, especially a large one like Los Angeles can be much tough. Below are some tips to consider in moving to Los Angeles.
- Meetups: There are some Meetup groups to select from. You will surely find one to belong to and will assist you to settle in.
- Attend local events: Los Angeles always has something going on there. Check Discover Los Angeles, Timeout, Welikela, and LA Weekly.
Moving with a Family to Los Angeles
There are many things in Los Angeles to attract families. There is surfing, drama, beaches, hikes, social events, and lots of art.
- New or expecting parents: You have access to free and paid classes and courses on antenatal. Check Eisnerpedcentre and Cedars Sinai.
- Choose a family-friendly community: Sherman Oaks located in The Valle is popular with families. It is near Malibu and just 20 to 40 minutes from Hollywood. Burbank is also a cheap family area that is determined as safe for family.
- Look for things to do with the children: Your kids with l love it in Los Angeles. Check these websites to get inspired: Free Things for Under 5s, Family Days Out, Smart Destinations, and Trip Advisor.
Moving for Work to Los Angeles
People relocate to Los Angeles for different reasons, the surf, a job, the movies, and so on. While moving without a job is possible, it is only reasonable to make sure you have jobs in your field waiting for you before the move.
The employment rate is above the country’s average but if you are experienced in tourism, aerospace, entertainment, or IT, you should be able to get a job.
Below are few considerations to make when moving for work:
- Salary: Salaries in L. A is different based on the industry you live in. The costs we mentioned above should provide you a clear idea of the amount you will want to make to ensure the move is worthwhile. You can also lookup salary ranges on websites like Payscale, Zip Recruiter, and Glassdoor.
- Finding work: If you want to make sure there is a job in queue for you before moving to Los Angeles, but confused about where to start, the sites here are your best starting point: Snag a Job, LA City, Indeed, Craigslist, Monster, and Zip Recruiter. You also may want to check a recruiter from your industry on Google because they can help secure some interviews for you, too.
We hope the tips and costs discussed here help you in having a smooth move. If you want to begin with pricing your Los Angeles move, you can begin by making quotes comparison here.